MORE THAN FASHION
ASOS CHATS TO 'THE RECEIPTS'
By Eleanor Dunne, 19 July 2020
So, this Monday (20 July), they’re hosting a drive-in version of their podcast in London, sponsored by PUMA, with all the proceeds going to charities that help Black lives. To find out more, we chatted to the dream team over a Zoom call – check out the interview below and keep an eye on our IG Live next week for more from the trio.
How did you get started on recording the podcast?
Tolani: I was a big podcast fan and I realised there was nothing coming from the UK that’s sounding like people like me and talking about things that I care about. I thought it would be great to hear stories about where I’m from. So, I put a tweet out saying that I had an idea and a name for a podcast, but I needed co-hosts. Milena and Audrey tweeted me back, so I DM'd them. Then we went for drinks and were talking for absolutely ages.
Why is it called 'The Receipts'?
Audrey: It’s named after a pop culture moment – Whitney Houston did an interview with Diane Sawyer, and Diane accused her of having a substance abuse problem. And then Whitney said: ‘Where’s the receipts, I want to see the proof!’ And Toli figured it makes sense for what we wanted to do – we’re telling our stories, these are our receipts, this is our evidence of the lives we live.
Who do you think is your podcast listener?
Milena: It’s funny because I can be on public transport and see a girl, and just know that she listens to us.
T: Me too! Our audience is fucking amazing, they think we’re their sisters. Although one of them recently called us their aunties, and I’m not sure how I feel about that! I feel like she’s a Black woman, she’s 22/23, and she’s learning to love herself and know who she is. She has nice hair and does her nails. She loves makeup, but she can go natural – and she shops on ASOS, of course!
A: She loves boys a bit too much, and she needs us to reel her in a bit and realise there’s more to life than chasing them around town.
M: She’s also been through a lot of heartbreak, and she needs older people’s advice.
T: We were talking about this yesterday, and it’s got to be Regina King [US actor and director]. If you listen to the first two minutes of that episode, I’m properly freaking out. I couldn’t believe she was there next to us and helping us with our relationship dilemmas!
You have a no-holds-barred approach to conversation on the show. Have you ever had any backlash?
A: Considering how honest we are, I think we’ve been lucky! When we first started, I was afraid everyone would hate us. I thought they mightn’t like women talking so openly, because it’s still quite new, especially black and brown women doing it. But it was actually fine.
T: We have people who will correct us, and we’re not above that. But if it’s an opinion, and it doesn’t offend anyone, then I’m like: you can’t tell me how I feel! I remember one time I said I flushed my tampons down the toilet and everyone really came for me! That was a learning curve...
M: If anyone comes for us, we’ve got loyal listeners who are amazing and will jump in and save us.
T: I go between feelings: first rage, then numbness, then sadness. I don’t think we should underestimate what it’s like to see actual videos of people, who look like you and your family, being killed because of the colour of their skin. And then hearing other people’s stories brings back so many things that you’d kind of forgotten had happened. Like when I used to walk home from school, there was a racist guy that used to set dogs on the Black kids. He did that all the time.
A: I'm happy these issues are being brought to the forefront, and it’s good to see people put their money where their mouth is and being forced to have those conversations. But at the same time, it’s tiring as there’s a lot of explaining to do. For example, I still have a 9-5, and when I felt like the response at work wasn’t appropriate, I wrote a letter to my CEO. They actually listened, and now they’re trying to do better – and I would have never really done anything like that before. So, in a way, it’s a good thing, it’s just so sad that people had to die for it to happen.
M: I’ve been able to educate myself so much more. I mean I’m not a Black woman (surprise!) but I’m on a platform with two amazing Black women, so listening to their stories and their experiences has taught me a lot. And I have had had arguments with other people that have shocked me; I’ve had to delete people on social media. And I’m thinking, if I’m tired, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a Black person right now.
Tell us about the event you’re putting on...
T: We’re doing a live drive-in show, which is basically like Grease, but 2020! If there wasn’t a pandemic, we’d get people on stage, but because of social distancing we’ve had to make up games that include people sounding their horns and stuff. All the proceeds are going to three charities that support Black lives. We’ve chosen one each (Youth Outreach, AZ Magazine and ACLT, the African Caribbean Leukemia Trust). PUMA is sponsoring it, and it’s paying for the production and the venue, which means we’ve got more money to give to charity. A lot of brands are being performative right now, but PUMA is putting money behind it, and it’s not all talk. So that’s amazing.
The live drive-in show is already sold out (sorry!) - but make sure you check out their Insta for more from these inspirational women... instagram.com/thereceiptspodcast and get listening to The Receipts now